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  • kinwashi's Avatar
    10,941 posts since Jan '08
    • Sakura viewing,

      Below are spots that we are going to cover when we there.

      At Kagoshima just he next two weeks.


      Kagoshima Cherry Blossom Spots

      Below is a list of Kagoshima's most popular spots for cherry blossom viewing (hanami), including the typical timing for best viewing in the average year and japan-guide.com ratings. See also our nationwide list of famous cherry blossom spots.


      Yoshino Park Early April  25 minutes by bus from Kagoshima Chuo Station 
      Admission: Free
      Yoshino Park is a large city park in northern Kagoshima City. There are over 800 cherry trees throughout the park, most of which are in a grove at the southern corner of the park providing the ideal spot to hold cherry blossom viewing parties.



      Senganen Garden Late January to early April  30 minutes by bus from Kagoshima Chuo Station 
      1000 yen, 8:30 to 17:30
      Most of the cherry trees at Senganen, a beautiful landscape garden north of the city center, are of the early blooming kanhizakura variety which has dark pink blossoms that open as early as late January. But there are also several somei yoshino trees that usually are in bloom in early April.



      Kotsukigawa Riverside Early April  A short walk from Kagoshima Chuo Station 
      No admission fee
      Just a short walk from Kagoshima Chuo Station, there are 500 cherry trees planted along the banks of the Kotsukigawa River. Space for picnics is available in small park areas.



      Hirakawa Zoo Early April  20 minute walk from JR Goino Station 
      500 yen, 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
      Hirakawa Zoo is a large zoo and amusement park located south of the city center. There are about 1000 cherry trees found here, most of them planted around a large lawn at the center of the zoo.



      Sakurajima Dinosaur Park Early April  A short walk from Sakurajima Ferry Terminal 
      Admission: Free
      Sakurajima Dinosaur Park is located near the ferry terminal onSakurajima, the volcanic peninsula in Kagoshima Bay. The park is geared toward children and has a number of fiberglass dinosaur play structures among several hundred cherry trees.

  • Daniel.samokhin91's Avatar
    1 post since Feb '16
    • Guys, we need transport to take our staff home after workshift everyday except sunday. Time from 11:30 - 12:30 pm, sometimes a couple of trips. I try to find a private driver but all the vain..We now use Uber taxi.

  • kinwashi's Avatar
    10,941 posts since Jan '08
    • A trip to a fantastical world full of Wisteria flowers

      Kyushu & OkinawaSpringTrivia 2015.01

      Once you step into the wisteria tunnel, you will be overwhelmed by the fresh sent and the beautiful scenery of numerous clusters of flowers lying on top of one another. Please come experience this grand sight which can only be seen in spring in Japan.

      Wisteria is a plant that grows all over Japan and which has captivated Japanese people for a long time. The flower clusters hang down for the tip of the plant’s long vines and sway beautifully in the wind. Wisteria is so beloved that it even appears in Waka, a classic Japanese poem. At Kawachi Fujien in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, you can enjoy the grand sight of these beautiful wisteria flowers.

      Wisteria at Kawachi FujienKawachi Fujien

      Kawachi Fujien is a private wisteria garden established in 1977. It is open only during wisteria season and when leaves the leaves change colours in autumn. Generally wisteria is said to be at its best at the beginning of May, but being in the warm southern climate of Kyushu, the best time to visit Kawachi Fujien is in late April. Approximately 150 trees comprising 22 types of wisteria in a variety of colors grow in a 10,000 square meters area.

      There are many attractions to see in the garden, including 2 kinds of wisteria tunnel, an 80m long tunel (263ft) and a 220m long (722ft) tunnel, wisteria domes and wisteria trellises. Wisteria tunnels became extremely popular after they were introduced on a website in 2012 and have become a tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world. There are huge wisteria trellises at the end of the tunnels and you can see wisteria trees which are more than 100 years old. Relax while being surrounded by wisteria flowers, taking a break and enjoying lunch under a beautiful wisteria trellis.

      Kawachi Fujien

      Address: 2-2-48 Kawachi, Yahata-Higashi-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka

      Phone: 093-652-0334

      Open: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

      Access: From Fukuoka Airport, take the subway and then a JR train to JR Yahata Station (about one hour). Take Nishitetsu bus #56 from Yahata Station to “Kawachi Shogakko-Mae” bus stop (about 20 min). The garden is a 15 minutes walk from the bus stop.

      Admission fee: 300 yen -1,000 yen (changes depending on the blossoming stage of the flowers)

      *Kawachi Fujien is a small garden in the mountains and can be difficult to access, so thorough research on the route is recommended before you go. Also it can be very crowded during the blooming season, so avoiding weekends and peak times is recommended.

      Photograph by: K.Fukunaga

    • This is how to enjoy Japanese-grown fruits!

      FoodProducts & ServicesTrivia 2015.02

      Japanese fruits are renown throughout the world for their delicious taste and beautiful appearance. See why they are so delicious and how to enjoy Japanese-grown fruits during your stay in Japan.

      Seasonal fruits that signal the coming of a new season

      Japan offers seasonal fruits of all of the four distinct seasons. People feel the coming of new seasons when seeing seasonal fruits such as when there are strawberries and citrus fruits in the spring; cherries, peaches, melons, and grapes in the summer; persimmons and pears in the autumn; and apples and tangerines, along with yuzu and kabosu citrus, which are squeezed for their juice to be used as seasonings, in the winter.

      Greenhouse cultivationCultivation of strawberries in greenhouses

      The secret to the deliciousness and beautiful appearance of Japanese-grown fruits lies in the wisdom and devotion of the producers. Fruits were known as “watery sweets” in ancient Japan and were enjoyed as luxuries and lavish gifts in addition to sources of vitamins. Emphasis was placed on the flavor and beautiful appearance of fruits a long time ago because there were not many processed products such as jam and fruit liquor. Breeding as well as research on cultivation and storage methods for fruits were also being done.

      The black watermelon and white strawberryThe black “Densuke” watermelon (left) and “Hatsukoi no Kaori(R) (Scent of First Love)”, white strawberry (right)

      This research led to the improved quality of Japanese-grown fruits and shipments of larger and sweeter fruits such as strawberries and apples all year round. Furthermore, breeding focused on better flavors as well as unique appearances has led to new kinds of fruits such as watermelons with black rinds and white strawberries.

      Fruit corner

      One of the results of the research conducted by the producers is the development of a wide variety of breeds ranging from luxury products to those that are more affordable. Luxury products that are mainly for gifts can be found at places such as department stores and fruit stores. The more affordable fruits can be found at the fruit sections of street-corner produce markets and supermarkets.

      Special sweets made with fruits!

      Desserts and processed food items made with Japanese-grown fruits are extremely popular. The sweets featuring the colors and flavors of the ingredients can be said to be uniquely Japanese in that these are main qualities found in Japanese food culture. There are many with the rich flavors of the fruits themselves, no unnecessary flavorings due to their having enough sweetness, and leaving the natural freshness of the fruits while being mostly unheated.

      SweetsFruit Parlour Takano, Main Store

      A recommended spot is the Fruit Parlor presented by fruit specialty stores if you want to enjoy treats such as parfaits and cakes made with seasonal fruits. Here, there are shops with all-you-can-eat fruit buffets that are open at specific times, shops that offer sweets made with famous local products, and more.

      Fruit Parlour Takano, Main Store

      Address: 3-26-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

      Access: 1 min. by walk from JR Shinjuku Station

      Ginza Sembikiya – Ginza Main Store Fruit Parlour

      Address: 2F, 5-5-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

      Access: 1 min. by walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Station

      TartsQu’il fait bon Grand Maison Ginza tartsMango tart.Berry Café Aoyama tart.

      Cafes where you can eat tarts that look like jewelry boxes with their brilliantly-colored fruit, freshness, and juiciness are recently popular. They are so lovely that they make you want to photograph them when they are served.

      Qu’il fait bon Grand Maison Ginza

      Address: FACADE GINZA 1F/B1F, 2-5-4, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

      Access: 1 min. by walk from Ginza-itchome Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line

      Berry cafe Aoyama

      Address: 1-2F, 5-10-19, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

      Access: 4 mins. by walk from Tokyo Metro Omote-sando Station

      Daifuku rice cakeStrawberry Daifuku rice cake (left) and tangerine Daifuku rice cake (right)

      Years ago, Western confectionaries were the mainstream when it came to sweets made with fresh fruit, but a new Japanese confectionary was introduced in around the 1980’s. It is known as the strawberry Daifuku rice cake. It is a Daifuku rice cake, which is a classic Japanese confectionary, filled with an entire strawberry and has become so widespread that it can now be found at locations such as neighborhood Japanese confectionary shops and supermarkets. New kinds of Daifuku rice cakes filled with other ingredients such as tangerines and grapes have also begun to appear.

      Processed food itemsProcessed food items by Obuseya made with apples from Nagano.

      There are many processed food items filled with the delicious flavors of Japanese fruits. Regions where fruit production is abundant offer products such as juice, wine liquor, and jam made with special local fruits as well as jelly and canned items.

      Have a try at fruit picking!

      Fruit picking

      Have a try at fruit picking, where you can go to a fruit farm and actually pick your own fruits while enjoying the flavors of freshly-picked fruits. There are fruit farms where you can eat the fruits that you pick right on the spot and a growing number of farms with outside barbeque facilities.

      There are also travel agencies that offer bus tours that include fruit picking trips along with sightseeing and shopping in the areas where you pick the fruits.

      Strawberry picking

      Finally, a few notes for when you go fruit picking.
      – Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
      – Remember to prepare yourself for the heat in the summer such as by wearing a hat and sufficiently rehydrating yourself.
      – Do not bring large pieces of luggage into the farms.
      – Obey the rules of the farms that you visit.
      (There is normally a fee for taking back with you what you have picked instead of eating it on the spot. Many facilities forbid taking back with you what you pick.)
      – It is convenient to bring along a towel or moist towelettes for wiping your hands with.

      It is an enjoyable to eat what you have picked yourself on the spot. Please be sure to include fruit picking as one of the events in your trip through Japan.

      * Some of the fruits and sweets listed may not be available depending on the time of year or the season.

    • 1603_spool_main

      Search for the secret of longevity of Japanese people

      Products & ServicesTradition 2016.02

      According to the World Health Statistics 2015, the average life span of Japanese people was ranked first for women being 86.61 years and fourth for men being 80.21 years. The average age of both men and women combined was the longest in the world being 84 years. Japan is now the country where people live the longest in the world. Let’s find out the secret of longevity of Japanese people, focusing on the wisdom hidden in the diet that Japanese people have had since old times!

      Ichiju-sansai (one soup and three side dishes) is the wisdom of Japanese people’s diet

      According to the “World Health Statistics 2015” announced by WHO, the average life span of Japanese men and women combined is 84 years, the longest in the world. The average life span of Chinese people is 75 years when men and women are combined and that of American people is 79 years. Throughout the world Japan is seen as a country where many people live very long. Why is the life span of Japanese people this long? There are many opinions as to its reason, but one that is drawing attention for being most probable is the diet and meals of Japanese people.

      Gorgeous Japanese cuisineTraditional Japanese food was cultured and refined to be made into the gorgeous Japanese cuisine

      Japanese food has been drawing even more attention since Japanese cuisine was added to UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list in 2013. When Japanese food is discussed, the image usually focuses on the delicate flavor that makes the best of the original taste of the ingredient and gorgeous presentation of the dishes as if it is showing four seasons , which is often that of expensive meals served at a high-class Japanese restaurant. Such Japanese food was completed after Japanese traditional meals were cultured and refined. However, what has contributed to the longevity of Japanese people is their daily diet.

      The secret to longevity lies in the daily food of Japanese peopleThe secret to longevity lies in the daily food of Japanese people

      There is a phrase “Ichiju-sansai” that expresses the daily meals of Japanese people. It means one soup, such as miso soup, and three side dishes, but it also means a “well-balanced meal” at the same time. During the Edo period (1603 – 1867), a luxurious meal sometimes had 2 to 3 kinds of soup, but it is said that ordinary people usually had one kind of soup, so the idea of Ichiju-sansai probably came from the wisdom of ordinary people. In reality, a well-balanced meal is completed when rice, which is a staple food, is added to Ichiju-sansai.

      Pickles (Japanese fermented food using ingredients such as vegetables)

      Pickles (Japanese fermented food using ingredients such as vegetables) is also a dish indispensable for the daily meals of Japanese people

      The secret of “Umami” flavor in Dashi (Japanese soup stock) is amino acid

      What’s indispensable for soup is Dashi (Japanese soup stock) that adds “Umami” flavor. “Umami” is mentioned as the 5th taste when Japanese food is discussed. Dashi with Umami in it is sometimes felt as “tasteless” by itself. But if you add a little bit of salt or soy sauce to it, the flavor changes completely. This “Umami” flavor has something to do with the amino acids that come out of seafood and seaweed.

      Umami flavor is indispensable for Japanese foodUmami flavor in Dashi is an indispensable element for Japanese foodThe ingredients of Dashi are seafood and seaweed.The ingredients for ordinary Dashi are seafood and seaweed

      Amino acids are made when protein is decomposed and absorbed in the body of human being. “Sakana Marugoto Pepuchido Ricchi” (whole fish rich in peptides) is a “natural Dashi and soup”, which makes use of peptides that are made one step before protein is decomposed and absorbed as amino acids. The benefit of peptides is the small size of its molecules, which greatly helps to absorb nutrients. Because of its excellent absorption, it is sometimes called a “drinking drip”. In addition amino acids provide antioxidative effects and improvement to the immune system.

      Sakana Marugoto Pepuchido Ricchi is easy to useSakana Marugoto Pepuchido Ricchi is easy to use as Dashi

      Its essence is extracted from the entire fish from head to bones caught in Japan (sardines and bonitos). All the oil is drawn out of fish using a special production method and the fish is dried at low temperature so the activation of important ingredients will not be broken. In the essence extracted through this process, kelp, Shiitake mushrooms and odorless garlic are added and no chemical synthetic additives are used. You can use it as Dashi for cooking and also eat it as soup by dissolving it in hot water.

      You can eat it as soupDissolve it in hot water and eat it as soup

      Okawari(one more serving) is part of the food culture that has rice as a staple food

      There is a word “Okawari” (one more serving) in Japanese meals. It is sometimes said that “Okawari” of soup is allowed only once in the manners of Ichiju-sansai. What’s interesting is that, when it comes to rice, finishing the meal with Ichi-zen (one bowl) of rice without having “Okawari” is called “Ichi-zen Meshi” and it is considered to be impolite.

      Let's try Okawari of riceLet’s try “Okawari” of rice during your trip in Japan

      Ordinary people sometimes had only two or one side dishes instead of three in their meals and no side dishes when they had extremely simple meals. The plain diet of just rice, soup and pickles was often seen in the daily life of ordinary people in old times. Japanese people used to eat small amount of side dishes with a large amount of rice and fulfilled their calorie quantity with rice. Rice is indispensable for the diet of Japanese people and the source of energy that has created and supported the body of Japanese people for a long period of time. Rice plays a partial role in the long life of current Japanese people.

      Rice is indispensable for Japanese people's dietRice is indispensable item for Japanese people’s diet

      High-quality rice does not grow without high-quality soil. With the hope for their own children to grow healthy, farmers started rice farming, developed an additive-free fertilizer over 10 years and made healthy soil where microbes live together without using any agricultural chemicals or chemical fertilizer. Rice grown in this soil is “Amino Saikuru Rice”.

      Amino KojiAmino Koji made by fermenting rare rice grown with no agricultural chemicals

      Amino Koji is a basic skin-care product that contains abundant amino acids necessary for skin, made by fermenting rare rice grown with no chemical fertilizer in Hokkaido. After seeing the improvement in the skin of children who ate “Amino Saikuru Rice”, people considered that amino acids and the ingredients in the rice might be contributing to making the skin better, which was the beginning of the product development. They made Koji (steamed rice fermented with koji mold) by fermenting rice grown carefully and blended it in a basic skin-care product. “Amino Saikuru Rice” contains abundant amino acids and fermenting it increases the amino acids even more.

      Reexamine your diet using the wisdom of Ichiju-sansai

      The Ichiju-sansai meal is the wisdom in Japanese people’s diet to have a well-balanced meal with side dishes and rice, which is a staple, as a main dish. Side dishes are made mainly with seasonal vegetables and fish and by having them with rice, you can take in nutrients necessary for human body efficiently. The kinds of main dish and side dishes differ for each country, but if you look at your daily meals considering the number of dishes in the idea of “Ichiju-sansai”, you may find a hint for longevity. Learn about Ichiju-sansai, the wisdom of Japanese ordinary people, and enjoy a healthy life!

      Tea is the key for longevity

      Yosai Zenji (1141 – 1215), the tea founder of Japan who is known to have lived long, wrote in his book “Kissa Yojoki” (Drink Tea and Prolong Life) that you would live long if you drink tea. Tea has a variety of effects including antioxidative effects by catechin. “Kyo amacha (Matcha)” is a sweetened Matcha which uses green powdered tea made in Kyoto, and can be enjoyed by everyone from children to elderly people. You can taste a delicious tea with Japanese quality.

      Kyo amacha (Matcha)Kyo amacha (Matcha)

      Keep your skin young with “Bayu” (horse oil)

      Bayu, or horse oil, contains abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids and α-linolenic acids, which is an essential fatty acid, and it is considered to be effective for improving blood circulation and promoting healthy skin through improved blood circulation. By applying Bayu on your skin and massaging it, the blood circulation is improved and the metabolism becomes more active, which prevents wrinkles. “Nihon Jun Kokusan Bayu” (Japanese pure horse oil) was made with horse fat made in Japan. You can use it for your daily skin care.

      Nihon Jun Kokusan BayuNihon Jun Kokusan Bayu

      Contact information for the products introduced in this article

      Contact below for “Sakana Marugoto Pepuchido Ricchi” “Amino Koji” “Kyo amacha (Matcha)” “Nihon Jun Kokusan Bayu” introduced in this article

      JAPAN PREMIER Co., Ltd.



    • Not long from now will heading to this wonderful destination called Kagoshima.



      Visit Kagoshima: The polar bear, the samurai and the volcano.


      This January we had the opportunity to stay for a few days in Kagoshima city, Kagoshima prefecture. If you want to explore Kyushu then definitely add this city to the list.

      Where is Kagoshima? Located at the south-western tip of the island of Kyushu, Kagoshima is a 1 hour and 40 minute shinkansen-ride from Fukuoka.

      Upon approach the view becomes dominated by the impressive volcano, Sakurajima, which has erupted as recently as February 5th 2016, but most days will send up monstrous clouds of ash into the sky. To reach the volcano you can take a short 15 minute ferry ride to it’s base and begin to make your ascent. Although the peak is off-limits there are several ‘levels’ up the volcano which are accessible and open for tourists (including a rather pleasant dinosaur-themed park). Around 7,000 people live in villages at the foot of the volcano and take advantage of the extremely fertile volcanic soil.

      In 1877, Kagoshima played host to a poignant moment in Japanese history- the last stand of here!

      Edited by kinwashi 25 Feb `16, 10:57PM
    • Wanted to know more about Japan.

      you can  have this...

      all here. Good Lobang.





      For Kyushu.



      The island of Kyushu offers a real taste of Japanese southern comfort.  Its mild climate is home to some of Japan’s most well-known hot springs and national parks.
      The terrain is generally mountainous with fertile valleys much like the rest of Japan, except for the wide plain area at the top of the island – The location of the largest cities of Fukuoka and Kitakyushu.

      Fukuoka 福岡
      Fukuoka City is a town that has developed on both sides of the Naka-gawa River, since Kuroda Nagamasa 黒田長政, a general of the samurai army in the 17th century, constructed Fukuoka Castle there. The eastern side of the river has developed as Hakata 博多, a merchant town, while the western side developed as Fukuoka, a castle town.  Around Hakata Station, lots of office buildings are rising, and restaurants and hotels stand close together.

      What's New?
      Follow Me Japan Pte. Ltd. (FMJ), Japan Specialists in Singapore, is launching unique tours to Kyushu, the southern island of Japan 
      in conjunction with the most iconic and luxury cruise train ‘The Seven Stars in Kyushu’ operated by JR Kyushu. 
      In spite of chartering the whole cabins for the 3 nights/4 days cruise, each cruise can accommodate only 28 passengers in 14 cabins. FMJ has 3 departures from Singapore. The first two will be 21Mar and 06Jun, 2015.

      Cruise Train Senven Stars ©Terunobu Utsunomiya

      Can't wait for spring to come. - - - Fukuoka city 福岡
      If you travel to Fukuoka, situated in the northern extremity of Kyushu Island, you can enjoy the fresh seafood from the Genkai sea, the Tonkotsu Ramen (noodles in milky pork bones soup), Mizutaki (Hot pot dish of Fukuoka with boiled chicken), Fugu (Blowfish) Cuisine, the Hakata's specialty from the yatai (street strolls), along with bars and restaurants in the largest entertainment quarter in Kyushu, Nakasu 中州. Not only satisfying your appetite, Fukuoka also offers graceful views of the cherry blossoms in spring at Maizuru Park 舞鶴公園, which is also the site of Fukuoka Castle Ruins 福岡城址, and Nishi Park 西公園, which is one of the Best 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Japan.

      Cherry Blossom Forecast (as of 09Feb15)
      Opening: 22Mar
      Estimated Best Viewing: 28Mar-04Apr

      Pics. ©Fukuoka City

      Kagoshima 鹿児島
      This is a city of palm trees, flowering bushes and wide avenues.  The city spreads along Kinko Bay 錦江湾 and boasts of one of the most unusual bay vistas in the world: Mt. Sakurajima 桜島, an active volcano whose last major eruption was in 1914.  You can’t climb it, though – the caldera still regularly belches forth ash and smoke.

      Ibusuki 指宿
      Ibusuki is known for its steam sand baths 砂風呂, which are heated by natural subterranean geysers. Visitors clad in bath robes lying in the sand pits are buried with sand up to their necks. The weight and heat of the sand stimulate blood circulation, and after about 10 minutes, the whole body begins to perspire. It is a pleasant sensation for the young and old alike.

      Kumamoto 熊本
      Kumamoto was once one of Japan’s most important castle towns.  It flourished under the lordship of the samurai warrior Kato Kiyomasa 加藤清正, who greatly expanded its titular castle after Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康 came to power in 1601.  A restored and renovated version of Kumamoto Castle still stands guard over the city today.  

      Can't wait for spring to come.
      A tour to Kumamoto, Kyushu is not complete without visiting its most symbolic historic monument, the Kumamoto Castle. It is also best known for its spectacular springtime cherry blossoms.
      Designated one of the Best 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots in Japan, there are nearly a thousand cherry trees planted across the castle grounds and in the adjacent public parks. Trees are lit up in the evening.

      Kumamoto Castle Cherry Blossom Forecast (as of 07Feb15)
      Opening: 21Mar
      Estimated Best Viewing: 29Mar-06Apr

      Nagasaki 長崎
      Under the national isolation policy of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Nagasaki harbor was the only harbor to which entry of ships was permitted.  Even today, Nagasaki shows the influence of many cultures such as Dutch, Portuguese, and Chinese.

      Arita 有田
      Arita, the cradle of porcelain manufacturing in Japan, is a quiet town among mountains, located in the western part of Saga.  Ri Sampei 李参平 (Korean name, Lee Cham-Pyung), a potter from Korea, discovered a fine-quality white porcelain mineral in Mt. Arita-Izumi-yama 有田泉山. This was the beginning of Arita's development into an internationally known town of porcelain.

      Beppu 別府
      Beppu is located in the central part of Oita, on the coast of Beppu Bay faces the sea.  Hot water gushes at many spots in the city.  Beppu ranks first in gush volume in Japan.

      Yufuin 由布院
      Yufuin is a spa town with many inns around Yufuin Station on a southwestern part of the skirts of Mt. Yufu-dake 由布岳.  It can be visited as either a day trip from Beppu or en route to Kumamoto City.
      Cruise Train Senven Stars ©Terunobu Utsunomiya

      Miyazaki Prefecgture 宮崎県
      Edited by kinwashi 26 Feb `16, 8:59PM
    • 1511_kagoshima-city03_main

      Let’s enjoy Kagoshima! Kingdom of Onsen

      Kyushu & Okinawa 2015.10

      Kagoshima is the Kingdom of Onsen, with more than 2000 hot springs. You can enjoy a unique onsen experience, including a natural hot spring foot bath at the airport, and a hot spring that you dig out with your own hands. There is much to see and do in Kagoshima, including journeying just a bit further to visit a famous onsen resort, or combining onsen with sightseeing and delicious gourmet meals!

      A natural hot spring foot bath welcomes you at the airport


      Kagoshima Airport has a natural hot spring foot bath, the only one of its kind at any airport in Japan. Soak your feet in the foot bath before heading out for sightseeing, and you will feel invigorated after your tiring flight.


      There are approximately 270 hot spring sources in Kagoshima City, the most among all the prefectural capitals (the seat of prefectural government) in Japan. The most popular foot bath of all, famous for its great view and convenient location (only a 10 minute walk from Tenmonkan, the busiest downtown area in southern Kyushu) is the footbath at “Dolphin Port”, a shopping complex with traditional craft shops, as well as restaurants that use only local ingredients. Enjoy the beautiful scenic views of Sakurajima Island and Kinko Bay while relaxing in an all natural onsen foot bath.


      In the southern part of Kagoshima City, there are two foot baths at Hirakawa Zoological Park. You can enjoy bathing your feet in the Indian Forest Zone while gazing at Indian elephants, or giraffes and zebras at the African Garden. Hirakawa Zoological Park uses a hot spring that gushes out from about 1500m underground for their animals. Even the pool of the popular capybaras is a natural hot spring, where you can see them happily bathing.

      Open-air bathOpen-air bath where you can enjoy a grand view (Hotel Shiroyama)

      Kagoshima City has plenty of facilities where you can relax and enjoy high-quality hot spring baths. Many accommodation facilities have natural hot springs certified by the Japan Spa Association, a large number of which have baths with exquisite views, or private open-air baths. What makes Kagoshima unique, is the majority of over 70 sento (public baths, 390yen) in the city use natural hot spring water, and there are also some with private open-air baths (about 1200-2000 yen/hour). It is also unique in that the hot spring water of many onsen is good for drinking. You can see information regarding spring quality, equipment, and private open-air baths on their respective websites.

      Dig your own hot spring on Sakurajima Island

      Unique onsen experience

      If you want to have a unique onsen experience, we recommend Sakurajima Island.

      On Sakurajima Island, there is a place that is rare even in Japan. By digging a hole as shallow as a few dozen centimeters on the sandy beach, the waters of the hot spring begin to gush forth.

      Onsen Bori set (Onsen digging set)“Onsen Bori set” (500 yen), or onsen digging set, comes with a scoop, a towel, and a guidebook. This is available for purchase at the Sakurajima Visitor Center, a 10 minute walk from Sakurajima Port.Onsen digging in Sakurajima

      You can try onsen digging on Sakurajima at any time. However, since the dates and times that you can dig are dependant on the tide and weather, confirm in advance when applying for the Sakurajima Museum tour (3500 yen). You can also obtain an Onsen Bori set if you select this tour. It will feel great listening to the sound of waves as you soak your feet in the warm foot bath you made with your own hands, as you sip on a refreshing drink. It will be an unforgettable memory.


      Sakurajima Island offers a variety of experience-based programs, including fishing and cruising, but we recommend a half-day tour in which you can enjoy both onsen digging and kayaking. You can bask in the natural beauty of Sakurajima Island as you soak your hands in the warm sea water of Kaichu Onsen, while gazing at sea animals and watching lava as it flows into the ocean.

      Yogan Nagisa ParkEvening viewThe evening view seen from the foot bath of Yogan Nagisa Park is also beautiful

      The ferry takes you to Sakurajima Island from the terminal in the center of Kagoshima City in 15 minutes, leaving every 15-20 minutes, 24 hours a day. The free foot bath in Yogan Nagisa Park, a 5 minute walk from Sakurajima Island, is open until sunset, so you can stop by when you visit. With a length of 100 meters, it is one of the biggest outdoor foot baths in Japan, so you can fully enjoy the spaciousness.

      Sandbath and hot spring which rejuvenates your mind and body

      mapIbusuki no TamatebakoIbusuki no Tamatebako“Ibusuki no Tamatebako” has a fashionable exterior and wooden interior designs

      You can go to some of the famous onsen sites using public transportation from Kagoshima City. One of them is Ibusuki Onsen, about a 50 minute ride from Kagoshima-Chuo Station on “Ibusuki no Tamatebako”, a limited express sightseeing train.

      “Sunamushi Onsen”, or sand bath, has been medically verified to have positive warming and detoxifying effects on the body.

      As its name originates from “湯豊宿(Yuhosuki)”, meaning “an inn with plenty of hot spring water” in Japanese, Ibusuki Onsen has been known as a therapeutic hot spring for over 300 years. They have many famous hot springs, including “Tonosama Yu”, which feudal lords of the Satsuma Domain (previous name of Kagoshima) have visited in the past.

      The most famous is “Sunamushi Onsen”, or sand bath, which is rarely seen throughout the world. You lie on the sandy beach, covering yourself with sand heated from the hot spring gushing just beneath you. Visitors wear a special yukata, so women can also enjoy the sand onsen in comfort. In the city, you can also experience “Sunamushi Onsen” in two public facilities and hotels including Ibusuki Hakusuikan (820-1080 yen).

      Ibusuki is proud of their high-quality hot spring water that is beneficial for your skin

      The hostess of Ibusuki HakusuikanNarumi Shimotakehara, the landlady of Ibusuki Hakusuikan

      “Ibusuki welcomes many visitors from overseas, and the number of visitors who return is increasing. As one of our guests has said, ‘What a peaceful place!’ Ibusuki is a peaceful onsen resort facing the ocean with plenty of high-quality hot spring baths. Our “omotenashi” is to pay attention to every detail, ensuring our guests can leave feeling fulfilled and peaceful. Our hot spring water contains plenty of metasilicic acid, a natural moisturizing ingredient. It will leave your skin feeling beautifully revitalized and smooth!”

      Satsuma Denshokan“Satsuma Denshokan”, located next to Ibusuki Hakusuikan, is an art museum (admission fee of 1500 yen) with exhibits showcasing famous items from Satsuma, as well as those related to the Satsuma Domain. You can visit even if you do not stay at Hakusuikan.

      Enjoy hot springs situated in the highlands, home to ancient Japanese myths

      Kirishima Onsenkyo with clouds of steamKirishima Onsenkyo with clouds of steam

      In Kirishima City, located northeast of Kagoshima City, there is the Kirishima mountain range, known as the homeland of Japanese myths. “Kirishima Onsenkyo” features hot springs gushing out of the mountains as high as 1500-1700m. “Kirishima Jingu Onsenkyo” spreads out in front of the gate of the ancient shrine “Kirishima Jingu Shrine”, with a history stretching back to the 6th century. Both are well known onsen resorts that have been used since ancient times. It takes about 40-50 minutes by JR limited express train from Kagoshima-Chuo Station to both locations. There is also a direct bus from Kagoshima Airport. Both Kirishima Onsenkyo and Kirishima Jingu Onsenkyo have many onsen inns with a variety of open-air baths, from ones where you can fully enjoy Mother Nature to ones where you can look out over Sakurajima Island in the distance. Of course, they also have facilities with private open-air baths.

      Kirishima Jinja ShrineKirishima Jinja Shrine, where leading characters of the Japanese creation myth are enshrinedHot spring waterfall

      Maruo Waterfall, seen along the street toward Kirishima Jingu Shrine is a “hot spring waterfall”, where the water from two nearby hot springs fall. The sight of droplets reflecting the colors of autumn foliage and clouds of steam emerging from the waterfall in winter is a must-see. It looks even more fantastic at night when it is lit up.

      Kirishima Open-Air Museum

      If you are interested in art, travel a bit further to visit “Kirishima Open-Air Museum”, a full-scale outdoor art museum located in the highlands about 700m above sea level. 20 works of distinguished artists from Japan and around the world are being exhibited, and you can interact with them while taking a stroll through the museum.

      Tenmonkan Illumination“Tenmonkan Illumination”, an event in winter to be held for the first time (2015)

      In January 2016, “Tenmonkan Millionation”, where a “space of light” is created with numerous lights, is going to be held for about a month in Tenmonkan, making it a good opportunity to visit Kagoshima. If you want to fully enjoy your time in Kagoshima, we recommend including this event in your plan. Or perhaps, you can combine this event with a visit to one of many natural hot springs and famous places, such as the Sengan-en Garden (Iso-teien Garden) loved by the feudal lords of the Satsuma Domain, or by sampling the local gourmet foods of Kagoshima!

    • 1509_kagoshima-city02_main

      Let’s enjoy Kagoshima! Vol. 2 The keyword is “color”

      DestinationFoodKyushu & Okinawa 2015.08

      Kagoshima Prefecture, the largest prefecture in Kyushu, is surrounded by ocean on three sides and is rich in nature with rows of mountains. In its central city, Kagoshima City, you can enjoy unique cuisine from different areas of Kagoshima Prefecture and learn and experience the ways of appreciating them. Let’s take a look at a variety of gourmet meals that use fresh local ingredients born of Kagoshima’s rich natural environment!

      Kagoshima’s “Kuro”, or black, is a Japan brand

      KuroKagoshima Kurobuta

      One way to enjoy gourmet food in Kagoshima is to look for the “Kuro” mark, which means “black”. One famous “Kuro” product is “Kagoshima Kurobuta”, the most popular brand of pork made from Berkshire pigs.

      Kurobuta was first produced in Kagoshima around 400 years ago. The Shimazu clan, which ruled Satsuma (the former name of Kagoshima Prefecture) at that time, popularized it and it became known nationwide around the mid-18th century. Tokugawa Nariaki was the father of Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, and he is said to have been very impressed with the pork. He is quoted as saying, “This is a delicacy indeed. It not only has an exquisite taste and body but is also nutritious.”

      Kurobuta dishes

      Kagoshima Kurobuta are mainly fed on Satsuma-imo, or sweet potatoes. As you can tell from the “Satsuma” in its name, these sweet potatoes are a local specialty of Kagoshima Prefecture. Satsuma-imo makes the pork fat’s melting point higher, so when you cook Kagoshima Kurobuta at high heat is has a less greasy and uniquely refreshing texture. The fat in the lean meat contains a lot of vitamin E. You can enjoy its mouth-watering flavor in a variety of dishes including Shabushabu and pork cutlet.


      You may also want to try “”Wazzeeka-don”” (upper left), which is only available in Kagoshima City. “”Wazzeeka”” means “”impressive”” in Kagoshima dialect and Wazzeeka-don is highly recommended in Kagoshima restaurants. Kagoshima Kurobuta is cooked in “”Waazzeka”” style and served over a bowl of rice. The ingredients and seasoning differ in each restaurant; some combine it with seafood and others may use eggs.

      Ramen lovers are recommended to try Kagoshima ramen with its pork and chicken bone soup base. Noodle thickness and toppings vary by restaurant and many places use a nice mild-flavored broth.

      Kagoshima Kuroushi

      “Kagoshima Kuroushi” is a Japanese brand of beef. This fine and high quality sirloin is so tender it can be cut with chopsticks.

      Kuro Satsumadori

      “Kuro Satsumadori”, or Kuro Satsuma chicken, is becoming more and more popular as the “third Kuro of Kagoshima”. It contains a lot of amino acids, which add flavor, and does not get tough even after cooking or grilling. Even when eaten cold, it still tastes delicious.

      Kagoshima is a treasure house of fresh fish

      KagoshimaKinko bay(Kagoshima bay)

      In Kagoshima City Central Wholesale Market, the fish market facing Kinko bay (also known as Kagoshima bay), fresh fish such as amberjack are gathered from the nearby sea. Kagoshima is the number one producer of amberjack in Japan. You can enjoy delicious fish in any season here.

      Kubiore Saba

      Another fish you can enjoy in Kagoshima is “Kubiore Saba”, a kind of mackerel which is a local specialty of Yakushima Island. Many people love its firm meat and excellent consistency.

      pond herrings

      People in Kagoshima also love pond herring which are caught in the sea on the west side of Kagoshima Prefecture. Pond herring are delicate fish which are sensitive to environmental changes and can only live in clean water. You can only eat them as sashimi at their production site.

      Experience sushi-making at a “Sushi School”

      At “Sushi Sayaka” in Kagoshima City, you can experience sushi-making at an actual restaurant using fresh local fish. This is a popular program and over 1,000 people have participated in this class since it opened in March 2015 (Reservation required for a group of more than 10 people. cost: 3,000 yen per person).

      Sushi School Satsuma-age

      “Satsuma-age”, minced fresh fish deep-fried in oil, is a local specialty of Kagoshima Prefecture which also has “Satsuma” in its name. There are many kinds of Satsuma-age, from ones mixed with seasonal vegetables to ones that have cheese in them. It is still delicious cold, but the freshly fried ones are particularly delicious. You can buy them in specialty stores and delicatessens in the city or enjoy them warm at Kagoshima Airport or Kagoshima Chuo Station.

      Sweets that pass on the tradition of the samurai period


      The sweets in Kagoshima are made according to the traditions from the Satsuma period. “Karukan” is an excellent sweet which is popular for its beautiful look and fluffy consistency. It is a steamed sweet made from ingredients such as high quality Japanese yam and it is said it was first made by order of Shimazu Nariakira (1809 – 1858), who had a reputation as a wise ruler.


      “Jambo-mochi” are round rice cakes of 3 – 4 cm in diameter which have been skewered on sticks and grilled, then smothered with a warmed sweet sauce. It is said that the word Jambo is derived from “Ryambo”, meaning double sticks. Two sticks are used at all times, representing the two katanas that samurai warriors carried at their waist. You can also eat them at Senganen Garden (Iso Teien), one of the tourist spots in Kagoshima City.

      sweets used for celebrations“Ikomochi” (left) and “Fukurekashi” are sweets used for celebrations

      Brown sugar, made by boiling down sugar cane juice, is a local specialty of Amami Oshima in Kagoshima Prefecture. The sweets made using this brown sugar have a simple, comforting sweetness and have been made for hundreds of years. In the past, every family used to make their own.


      These sweets go very well with teas made in Kagoshima. Kagoshima has a warm climate and fertile land, so their tea leaves are harvested the earliest in Japan. “Chiran-cha”, or Chiran tea, is the most popular Kagoshima tea because of its deep flavor.

      Shirokumashaved ice

      “Shirokuma” shaved ice is popular among tourists who “want to taste an authentic flavor” when they visit Kagoshima City. The original one consists of condensed milk poured onto shaved ice and topped with fruit. Many new variations have been created, including ones in a cup or on a stick, and Shirokuma is now a popular treat all over Japan.

      2000 different brands can be found

      Satsuma Shochu Liquor

      Sweet potatoes were brought back from Ryukyu (now known as Okinawa Prefecture) by a fisherman in Minami-Satsuma in 1705. They became established in Kagoshima due to their ability to resist droughts and typhoons as well as their suitability for growing in volcanic ash soil.

      “Satsuma Shochu Liquor” is a distilled spirit brewed in Kagoshima which is made from Kagoshima sweet potatoes and water. It meets the World Trade Organization’s “Satsuma Shochu” standards as a certified “Geographically Indicated” product. Other “Geographically Indicated” products include Bordeaux for wine and Scotch for whisky. There are more than 2000 different brands of Satsuma Shochu and it is a local specialty of Kagoshima that is also exported overseas.

      Make with affection as if it is your own child

      At “Satsuma Gojugura” brewery of Hombo Shuzo, shochu is made by hand from malt using a traditional production method. The chief brewer attends to it at all times to keep an eye on the fermentation process and the temperature. This brewery has a tour where you can see the distillation process, including the preparation steps where fresh sweet potatoes and mashed soy are added, and enjoy shochu tasting. Shochu goes well with many foods as it is very refreshing in the mouth. It is recommended to enjoy it mixed with water and chilled overnight in the refrigerator. This is called “Maewari”, and you can try it at home and enjoy its mild flavor.

      Factory tour

      Recommended gourmet tour

      Market dining hall in Kagoshima-City Central Wholesale Market

       dining hall

      This famous dining hall is located just outside of the Central Wholesale Market. You can enjoy “Kubiore Saba” here and the Sashimi set meal is also popular.



      For those who want to try a variety of gourmet foods in Kagoshima, we recommend “Tenmonkan”, the busiest street in Kagoshima. You can stroll around at your leisure, eating freshly fried Satsuma-age and enjoying Kagoshima tea and sweets. Matcha ice cream and crepes made with Kagoshima matcha are also delicious.

      Kagomma Furusato Yataimura

      Kagomma Furusato Yataimura

      In Yataimura, which was remodeled and reopened in April 2015, there are 25 shops standing side-by-side which feature a variety of food. There are shops that serve traditional local cuisine and unique ones that create new Kagoshima flavors from traditional local cuisine. What all of these shops have in common is that they all use carefully selected local ingredients made right in Kagoshima

    • 1507_kagoshima-city01_main

      Enjoy Kagoshima! Vol. 1 The Samurai Spirit

      DestinationKyushu & OkinawaTraditionTrivia 2015.06

      Kagoshima City, which is the largest city in southern Kyushu, has a temperate climate and attracts visitors with its abundance of nature, wide variety of delicious foods, wealth of hot springs, and unique samurai culture. See its appeal and highlights in a series of four installments. First, take a look at the spirit and culture of the samurais of Satsuma (former name of Kagoshima)!

      The home of samurai culture, which can be accessed with a non-stop trip

      Kagoshima City is the central city of Kagoshima Prefecture, which is located at the southernmost part of Kyushu in Japan’s mainland. It can be directly accessed from Seoul, Shanghai, Taiwan, or Hong Kong on a non-stop flight in just 90 to 180 minutes. It can also be accessed easily from within Japan as there are flights from all across the country including 23 round trips a day from Haneda Airport. When taking a JR line, it takes less than 90 minutes to travel between Hakata (Fukuoka) and Kagoshima-Chuo Station on the Kyushu Shinkansen. It can be reached directly from Shin-Osaka in just a little over 4 hours.

      Airline route

      When visiting by plane, you will be greeted by a spacious bright sky upon landing at Kagoshima Airport. Take a trip where you can almost feel as if you are with the samurais of Satsuma, which were filled with a valiant and enterprising spirit while also being able to love nature and beautiful things!

      Sengan-en is where you can experience both the culture and aesthetics of the samurai

      Garden at Sengan-enThe garden of Sengan-en that has skillfully incorporated natural scenery

      Located in the Iso area, which is about 30 minutes by bus from Kagoshima-Chuo Station and commands a view of the calm Kinko Bay and the grand Mt. Sakurajima, is Sengan-en (built in 1658 and also known as Iso Teien), which was the villa of the Shimadzu Clan, who had ruled Satsuma (the former name of Kagoshima) since the 12th century. It is also famous for its seasonal flowers such as the Taiwan cherry blossoms in mid-February and the Siberian irises in June.

      Sengan-en Goten

      The Goten, which overlooks the garden that was built to make Mt. Sakurajima look like a man-made garden mountain and Kinko Bay look like a pond, gives you a glimpse of how the daimyos of the past lived as it has rooms that were used by the lords of the successive generations.

      Sengan-en was used as a guest house of the Shimadzu Family and Kagoshima City, and was visited by many people such as members of Japan’s Imperial Family, Prince Nicholas II of Russia, and Prince Edward VII of England.

      Scenery in the garden

      On the grounds are six hundred types of wild plants, a device known as the “Takamasu”, which is used for controlling the level of the water in the pond, and a rare shrine dedicated to cats. The nearby Shoko-Shuseikan museum has traditional craft art such as Satsuma Kiriko glassware and Satsuma earthenware.

      The traditional ceremony of Kyokusui no Utage

      There are many events such as annual festivities associated with the Shimadzu Family and those filled with traditional culture held at Sengan-en. The photo is of a “Kyokusui no Utage” event (held every April) with the participants dressed in formal samurai clothes.

      Tin Gate

      Tin Gate was the original main gate. Only the lords and their successors could pass through the center. Others had to pass through a small entrance on the left side.

      Sengan-en has guided tours in languages including English and Chinese (reservations required) and a teahouse where visitors can enjoy green tea and Japanese sweets.

      Sengan-en is a perfect place for experiencing Satsuma samurai culture with structures and gardens where traditional Japanese styles are in harmony with those from the nearby China and Ryukyus (current Okinawa Prefecture).

      The decision of the wise lord who brought about the Industrial Revolution in Japan

      Japan’s oldest Western-style machine factory in existence / (C)K.P.V.B

      Shuseikan, which is right by Sengan-en, was built by the twenty-eighth lord of the Shimadzu Clan, Nariakira Shimadzu (1809 – 1858), who was renowned as a wise lord. It is where the first modern industrial work in Japan took place.

      Nariakira felt a sense of crisis towards Western expansion into Asia and believed that the development of industry that incorporated Western science and technology was necessary. Therefore, he promoted rapid modernization through developments of iron and glass making, medicine, fabrics, shipbuilding, steam engines, and so on. This area, where many remnants of this movement can still be found, is the birthplace of Japan’s Industrial Revolution.

      Remains of a reverberating furnaceThe remains of a reverberating furnace that was used for melting iron at high temperatures and making cannon barrelsTextile spinning machineUsed at the Kagoshima Spinning Mill, which was the first Western style mechanized spinning factory in Japan.

      Shuseikan was destroyed by fire once but was rebuilt in 1865 as a machine factory with Dutch machine tools that did work such as metal processing and the repairing of ships. Engineers were also invited over from England as the first spinning mill in Japan was built. It is said that a hundred weaving machines were in operation during the height of its prosperity.

      The samurais of Satsuma filled with the spirit of enterprise as they willfully chose to face difficult situations eventually played a central role in the Meiji Restoration (around 1868), which significantly changed Japan with political rule being shifted from the Tokugawa Shogunate to the Meiji Government.

      Foreigner's residenceA foreigner’s residence that an English engineer lived in

      The Shuseikan project, which a domain lord took over himself, was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2015 as the Former Shuseikan and a Site of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. It is also highly praised around the world.

      Satsuma Kiriko glassware and Satsuma earthenware are famous for their elaborateness and beauty

      The Satsuma spirit also lies in the traditional craft arts of Kagoshima City. The crystal glass craft products of Satsuma Kiriko glassware, which the Satsuma Family was involved in to make products that could be shipped overseas, is one such art form.

      Satsuma Kiriko glasswareSatsuma Kiriko glassware giving off a magnificent brilliance

      Nariakira built a laboratory for colored glass inside Kagoshima Castle and was able to produce colors such as crimson, indigo, purple, and green. The deep red here was the first to be developed in Japan and was praised as “the crimson glass of Satsuma”.

      A sample of the processThe process of cutting Satsuma Kiriko glassware

      Satsuma Kiriko glassware has been fading for over a hundred years since Nariakira passed away, but Satsuma glass art, which is descended from the Shimadzu Clan, revived it in 1985 in the Iso area, which is associated with the art form. It is characterized by and adored by fans overseas for the uniquely engraved patterns on transparent glass stacked with colored glass as well as the gradations of the colors.

      White Satsuma

      Satsuma earthenware, which was started about four hundred years ago by the seventeenth lord of the Shimadzu Clan, Yoshihiro Shimadzu (1535 – 1619), consists of both “white Satsuma” and “black Satsuma”. White Satsuma has fine crazing on a milky white surface with detailed illustrations of objects such as animals and plants painted in various colors including red, blue, green, and gold. It was first exhibited at the 1867 Paris World’s Fair and was acclaimed for its artistic quality.

      Black Satsuma

      Black Satsuma is earthenware made for the common people. It is characterized by its deep black luster produced by the iron-rich volcanic soil and its rustic features. On the left center of the photo is a cup for warming shochu known as Kuro-joka. On the right side is a conical cup known as Sorakyu, which cannot be placed on a table. It is said to have been named so after the terms “sora” (here you go) and “kyu” (bottoms up) before all of the shochu is drunk.

      “Rokugatsudo” summer lantern festivals with fantastic lights

      Rokugatsudo lantern festivalsA “Rokugatsudo” lantern festival dedicated to Nariakira Shimadzu at Terukuni Shrine / (C)K.P.V.B

      There are many festivals that are deeply associated with the Shimadzu Family in Kagoshima City. The Rokugatsudo lantern festivals, which are said to originate from the nineteenth lord of the Shimadzu Clan, Mitsuhisa Shimadzu (1616 – 1695) are summer festivals that are held in June in the old calendar (July in the Gregorian calendar) at shrines and temples in Kagoshima Prefecture. The lights of the lanterns with colorful and brilliant paintings on them are fantastic. They are held almost every night in Kagoshima City all throughout July. Please be sure to visit one if you plan on going to Kagoshima City during this season as there are also busy stalls that are set up at night.

      Recommended model courses that easily let you experience the land of the samurais

      Terminal in front of Kagoshima-Chuo Station

      Kagoshima-Chuo Station

      Kagoshima-Chuo Station. The rooftop Ferris wheel commands a panoramic view of the city.

      Museum of the Meiji Restoration

      Princess Atsu's room.

      Various exhibitions using high-tech instruments such as robots to show in an easy to understand way the roles that the samurais of Satsuma (Kagoshima) played in the history of the Satsuma domain and the Meiji Restoration. There is also a replicated room of Tenshoin (Princess Atsu) (1836 – 1883), who was the adopted daughter of Nariakira Shimadzu and the wife of the thirteenth Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

      Monument commemorating Xavier’s stay in Kagoshima

      Xavier monument(C)K.P.V.B

      A monument commemorating the Spanish missionary Francis Xavier, who visited Japan in 1549. Kagoshima is also the first place in Japan where Christianity arrived.

      Shiroyama Observation Deck

      Shiroyama Observation Decknight view

      Located on a small mountain at an altitude of 107 meters, overlooking sights such as Mt. Sakurajima and Kinko Bay. Also a recommended spot for night views.



      The hottest entertainment district in southern Kyushu, lined with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, boutiques, and more. Named after Meijikan (also known as Tenmonkan), which was a facility built in 1779 for astronomical observations.

      City View BusSakurajima Ferry

      The City View Bus is a good way to travel when sightseeing in Kagoshima City. The one-day Welcome Cute ticket (1,000 yen) for visitors from abroad is a money-saving and convenient pass that lets you on busses, streetcars, and a ferry to Mt. Sakurajima.

      Samurai statueRoad of the Meiji Restoration(C)K.P.V.B

      Kagoshima City has monuments of samurais everywhere you go with many sights such as the Road of the history and culture with its stone walls and beautiful flowers. Freely use your Welcome Cute and take this chance to explore.

    • Yokoso Kagoshima! Vol.1(Tarumizu-city)

      By A.Shugo on Friday October 23rd, 2015 in Travel


      We will introduce Tarumizu city.
      Tarumizu City is located in the Osumi peninsula of Kagoshima Prefecture. Tarumizu city is one of the Muslim-friendly city in Kagoshima. There is Indonesian school’s excursion who come here and stay together with one of Tarumizu family.
      16 October 2015.
      First night, we stayed in the 森の駅たるみず (Tarumizu cottage), Japanese style cottage surrounded by beautiful forest, and enjoyed barbecue of halal beef and chicken from Kagoshima. The cottage serves all the things for the barbecue. They also introduced halal certification green tea named うるわし和茶 (Uruwashi green Tea). In Japan it’s very popular to eat “Ochazuke (お茶漬け)”, a simple Japanese dish made by pouring green tea over cooked rice and use fish fillet as topping. There also popular ramen named 侍ラーメン (Samurai Ramen), it doesn’t contain animal and alcohol.

      In the morning, it was very happy because they used halal soy sauce to made breakfast. This cottage is recommended place because they also serve halal shampoo, soap, and conditioner as well. There also hot spring water lotion.
      In autumn season, you can enjoy many beautiful sceneries in Tarumizu. The most popular is a thousand ginkgo park, where a thousands ginkgo trees lived here.
      After this, then we moved to the Tarumizu road station


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      KAGOSHIMA Sights

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      "KAGOSHIMA Sights" is an application which helps you easily access and review information about Kagoshima's tourist spots and seasonal traditions. 
      It is an indispensable Kagoshima sightseeing application with in-depth explanation about tourist spots, navigation to the destination, event information and other useful information.

      ◆Main functions
      ・It is possible to search by category or area.
      ・Detailed information about tourist spots and seasonal traditions
      ・Map application and navigator to related destinations
      ・You can comment on the sights and seasonal traditions or use the reference function.
      ・Information of tourism in Kagoshima
      ・It is possible to save favorites.
      ・Designing Your Own Course
      ・Tourist Information Counter Location Map
      ・Michi-no-eki (Local Products Bazaar) Location Map
      ・Local Products Mall Location Map
      ・Public Cultural Facility Location Map
      ・Leisure Facility Location Map
      ・Sports Facility Location Map
      ・Golf Course Location Map
      ・Hot Spring Location Map
      ・Rent-A-Car Location Map
      ・Motorbike Rental Location Map
      ・Tram stop, Tram timetable
      ・City view stop, City view timetable
      ・Express bus stop, Express bus timetable
      ・Destination guidance to the main sightseeing spot.
      ・Model Course
      ・Regular Sightseeing Bus
      ・Sightseeing Trains
      ・Introduction to Local Gourmet
      ・Introduction to Hometown Snack
      ・Kagoshima Dialect
      ・Accommodation Search
      ・Language setting(Japanese/English/Korean/Traditional Chinese/Simplified Chinese)

      This application can operate without WiFi or 3G network, but part of the program (e.g. map routes, external links) requires internet access.
      Part of the search process utilizes the search engine on the official Kagoshima prefecture homepage.

      This is the information as of July 20, 2015.
      Please note that this information may be changed or revised.
      Please use this for sightseeing in Kagoshima.


      Search keyword
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      スカイMap用ロゴ(160×25) Sky Rent a Car Kagoshima Airport > Outlet Information > Map  

      Car type : 660cc Car Car class : SK・Non-smoking Price Rate : - Capacity : 4passenger(s)(Recommend Passenger Number:2) Example models
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      Regular price Drop off fee Option Fee Total Regular price ToCoo! Special Price   87,986yen + 3,000yen + 0yen = 90,986yen65,963yen SAVE 28%! プラン詳細へ スカイMap用ロゴ(160×25) Sky Rent a Car Kagoshima-Chuo > Outlet Information > Map 5 minutes walking from JR Kagoshima-chuo Sta. Exit 4.

      Car type : 660cc Car Car class : SK・Non-smoking Price Rate : - Capacity : 4passenger(s)(Recommend Passenger Number:2) Example models
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      Regular price Drop off fee Option Fee Total Regular price ToCoo! Special Price   87,986yen + 3,000yen + 0yen = 90,986yen65,963yen SAVE 28%! プラン詳細へ 駅レン九州(160×25) JR Eki Rent A Car Kyushu Ibusuki-eki > Outlet Information > Map On the right-side of JR Ibusuki Station Main Exit.

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      Regular price Drop off fee Option Fee Total Regular price ToCoo! Special Price   78,704yen + 0yen + 0yen = 78,704yen72,778yen SAVE 8%! <a

    • Hotel  Kagoshima check lists.

      See how much and how much those budget hotels here.



      50 propertiesin Kagoshima
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    • Last minute we change our plan.

      We will taking  from Hakata train station Mizuho line to Kagoshima Chuo Station.



      Direct access to Fukuoka (Hakata), Kumamoto, Kagoshima from Osaka. Kyushu Shinkansen


      Kyushu Shinkansen TsubasaKyushu Shinkansen Tsubasa

      Kyushu Shinkansen runs between Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo. But many trains run from Shin-Osaka and carry many passengers from Kansai area to Kyushu. This is the best way to get Kyushu from Osaka and Hiroshima. But some trains are not covered by JR Pass. I would like to show you about this Shinkansen system in this post.

      *The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

      Types of trains

      There are three types of trains, the fastest train “Mizuho”, second fastest “Sakura” and “Tsubame” that stops at all station. on Kyushu Shinkansen. All Mizuho and most of Sakura go through Sanyo Shiknasen to/from Shin-Osaka. You can ride a train from Shin-Osaka to Kagoshima without transfer. But the fastest train, Mizuho is not covered by Japan Rail Pass. Mizuho is in same restriction as Nozomi of Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen.

      Mizuho connects Shin-Osaka with Kumamoto in just 3 hours and with Kagoshima Chuo in 3 hours 45 minutes.

      Sakura is a bit slower than Mizuho. It connects Shin-Osaka with Kumamoto in 3 hours 10 minutes to 3 hours 45 minutes and with Kagoshima-chuo in 4 hours 10 minutes to 40 minutes. It takes much more minutes for taking some of Sakura as it stops at many more stations than Mizuho and faster Sakura.

      Tsubame is slowest train on Kyushu Shinkansen now. It is operated between Hakata and Kagoshima-chuo only. This train does not go through Sanyo Shinkansen. It connects Hakata and Kagoshima-Chuo around 2 hours. Of course if you need to move to Kagoshima-chuo or Kumamato from Hakata, you can take Sakura, or if you are not Japan Rail Pass user, take Mizuho.

      Route and stations

      Edited by kinwashi 06 Mar `16, 9:25PM
    • Hotel confirmed.


      Toyoko Inn Kagoshima-chuo-eki Nishi-guchi


      Address: 2-28-10, Nishida, Kagoshima-city, Kagoshima, Kagoshima  890-0046  Japan

      Tel: +81-(0)99-814-1045     Fax: +81-(0)99-814-1046

      • Hotel Information / Room Rates
      • Photo Gallary
      • Facilities / Services


      Official Website Exclusive
      Toyoko Inn Kagoshima-chuo-eki Nishi-guchi
      • Check-in Time / 16:00

      • Check-out Time / 10:00

      • Free Breakfast 6:30-9:30

      • (6:30-7:00: Serve only bread and coffee)

      Accessible Rest Room on the Lobby Floor
      Accessible Room B
      Cinderella Liberty Plan
      Wi-fi(All Rooms and Lobby Area)
      ISO 9001:2000 Certified
      Access Map: Toyoko Inn Kagoshima-chuo-eki Nishi-guchiClick here to see the map

      3 minutes walk from west exit of JR Kagoshima Chuo Station.
      50 minutes from Kagoshima Airport by bus.


      60 spots available / First-come-first-served basis

      Stacking Carpark 60 spots available Length: 5m / Width: 1.85m / Height: 2m / Weight: 2.3t
      Room Rate - Subject to change without notice -
      Get ¥300 off from regular room rate if you make a reservation via Toyoko Inn Official Website!
      The following room rates may vary depending on season. Please click here to check the actual room rate.
      Room TypeRegular Room Rate  The figures in parenthesis are with taxes included.Plan Details Single Room From ¥4,800(¥5,184) to ¥5,800(¥6,264)   Economy Double Room From ¥5,800(¥6,264) to ¥6,800(¥7,344) Semi-double size bed Double Room From ¥7,300(¥7,884) to ¥8,300(¥8,964)   Twin Room From ¥7,300(¥7,884) to ¥8,300(¥8,964)   Deluxe Twin Room From ¥13,800(¥14,904) to ¥14,800(¥15,984)   Accessible Twin Room From ¥7,300(¥7,884) to ¥8,300(¥8,964)   "Business Package 100" Single From ¥5,900(¥6,372) to ¥6,900(¥7,452)   "Business Package 200" Single From ¥7,000(¥7,560) to ¥8,000(¥8,640)   "Business Package 300" Single From ¥8,100(¥8,748) to ¥9,100(¥9,828)  
      Click here to see the Room Type
      • Rates for Double / Twin rooms are per room (2 guests per room).

      • Cancellation charge applies from 16:00 on the date of arrival , if no prior notice.

      • A child in elementary school or younger may sleep with his or her parent/parents without charge. For Detail >>

      • However, no additional amenities, pillows or the like, will be provided. Those are available for an extra 1,000 yen(without tax).

    • Weather over there at Kagoshima.


      Kagoshima-shi March Weather 2016 - AccuWeather ...

      Get Kagoshima-shi, Japan typical March Weather including average and record temperatures from AccuWeather.com.
    • The 2016 Sakura Forecast by the Japan Weather Association Has Been Released!

      Feb 4, 2016
      GOOGLE +

      When Setsubun holiday on February 3rd has finished, it’s time for Spring in Japan! While the weather in February may still be cold, there are promises of spring everywhere. There is especially good news for those who are hoping to see Japan’s famously beautiful sakura blooming in 2016! The Japan Weather Association has released their Sakura Forecast for the entire country.

      The sakura front normally starts from the southernmost part of the country in late March and works its way up to Hokkaido by May. If you want to know the best time to catch the sakura blossoms for the city you are living in or traveling to, read on!

      sakura closeup

      The Forecast

      sakura front

      2016 is a leap year, and according to the JWA, the forecast may differ between leap years and regular years. Sometimes leap year blossoms come later in certain regions of Japan. For this spring, the predictions look to be mostly normal, so no emergency schedule changes will be needed.

      According to the Japan Weather Association’s predictions, The Chugoku, Kansai, Tokai, Hokuriku (Chubu) and Kanto regions will all have their leap year sakura blossoming as usual. The Tohoku region (northern Honshu) will actually have blooming sakura slightly earlier than a regular year. Finally, Hokkaido will also have a regular blooming season!

      When Exactly Will the Sakura Bloom?

      sakura blossom


      It looks like the sakura will begin blooming on March 25th in Fukuoka. Nagasaki will get its first blooms slightly later, on the 27th and Kagoshima will see its first sakura on the 31st.

      Chugoku and Shikoku

      The front will continue up to the Chugoku region and the island of Shikoku. The first blooms in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture will bloom on March 28th while in Chugoku, Hiroshima’s sakura are set to appear just one day later on March 29th!


      Many people will be wondering when they can see the gorgeous sakura blooming in Kyoto’s most beautiful spots. The sakura are predicted to first bloom on March 29th in both Kyoto and Osaka.


      The sakura front in Chubu is different depending on whether the city you plan to visit is in the north or south. For example in Nagoya, the first sakura are set to start blooming on the 26th of March. In Shizuoka prefecture, they will start on the 29th. However in northern cities like Kanazawa (Ishikawa prefecture) and Niigata city in Niigata prefecture, the sakura will not bloom until April 4th and 7th respectively.


      In Kanto, the cherry blossoms will bloom around the same time as their southern Chubu counterparts and slightly earlier than in some parts of Kyushu. The sakura in Tokyo will begin to emerge on March 26th.


      As the sakura front goes further north, the Tohoku region will start to see blooms in early April, with Sendai getting their first on the 9th. The front will continue up to Aomori where blossoms will appear later on in the month on April 22nd.


      Hokkaido is the last point of the sakura front for Japan! Locals and visitors can look forward to cherry blossoms blooming on May 2nd in Sapporo!

      Popular Cherry Blossom Viewing Areas

      sakura night

      As stated above, the general time for blossoms in Kanto, and specifically, Tokyo, comes around late March to early April. In the heart of Tokyo, the cherry blossoms are expected to bloom as usual on March 26th, which is just slightly later than last year’s start of March 23rd. If you are hoping to also venture into other parts of Kanto such as Yokohama in Kanagawa, the sakura will start to appear around the 28th.

      While the Kansai region normally gets its blooms a little earlier than Kanto, Kyoto city’s sakura will actually begin to bloom around March 29th. This means visitors should plan to see the famous blooms at Kiyomizu-dera around this time!

      If you were hoping to get a glorious view of the sakura surrounding Mt. Fuji, you can see them starting to appear on March 29th as well! Shizuoka prefecture and Yamanashi prefecture, which both share Mt. Fuji and its beautiful scenery, will have their blooms at that point.

      Recommended Spots Throughout the Country
      Meguro River

      sakura river


      Isshingyo Osakura in Kumamoto

      Nishi Park in Fukuoka

      Kumamoto Castle


      Shodeyama in Kagawa

      Hirakiyama Park in Ehime


      Senkoji Park in Hiroshima

      Tsuyama Castle in Okayama


      Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto

      Kyoto Cherry Blossom Tour Options

      Osaka Castle Park


      Izu Kogen Sakura Namiki in Shizuoka

      Nagoya Castle

      Takatojoshi Park in Nagano


      The Meguro River in Tokyo

      Ueno Park

      Tokyo Cherry Blossom Tour Options

      Mitsuike Park in Yokohama, Kanagawa

      Hachimanyama Park in Utsunomiya, Tochigi


      Mihara Takizakura in Fukushima

      Hirosaki Park in Aomori

      Shiroishi River in Miyagi


      Goryokaku in Hakodate

      Shibazakura Takinoue in Monbetsu

      For more details about what types of sakura bloom and how to plan your trip, please feel free to checkthis article! You can find out all the information you need and suggestions for where to have the most fun during your cherry blossom viewing!

      Related Articles:
      Happy Hanami! Or how to get the most out of Sakura Viewing
      The 2 best parks for Hanami (sakura viewing)

    • If the prediction is right we still can see Sakura in Kagoshima.



      It looks like the sakura will begin blooming on March 25th in Fukuoka. Nagasaki will get its first blooms slightly later, on the 27th and Kagoshima will see its first sakura on the 31st.

    • this may happen at Fukuoka. tomorrow.


      Ichiran Ramen 一蘭 – Indeed, One Of Japan’s Best Tonkotsu Ramen + How To Order An Ichiran Ramen

      Ichiran Ramen 一蘭 - Indeed, One Of Japan's Best Tonkotsu Ramen + How To Order An Ichiran Ramen
      by admin
      January 01, 2015

      [Japan] Ichiran Ramen 一蘭 is known as one of the best ramen in Japan, if not the best – mass market wise. Not exaggerating, but my friends would get the urge to fly to Tokyo just have a bowl of this rich Tonkotsu soup based noodles.

      Ask any Hong Konger or even Singaporeans which is their favourite ramen from Japan, the answer is likely to be Ichiran. Though the Japanese themselves would have extremely varied replies.

      The shop was founded in Hakata Fukuoka way back in the 1960s. Hakata ramen is characterised by its thin, long, firm noodles, usually whiter in colour. Also my favourite type. Think Ippudo Ramen.

      Its winning formula can be attributed to the creamy smooth classic pork-based tonkotsu soup, topped with Ichiran’s original red pepper sauced mixed with 3 type of spices.

      For those who have never bought ramen from a vending machine before, the experience can be quite stressful, especially when there is a long queue behind you.

      Here’s what to do so that you do not get lost!

      Step 1: Purchase ramen ticket from vending machine
      For more crowded shops, you may have to queue even before purchasing the meal tickets from the vending machine. Get your notes and coins ready to buy the ramen ticket, and any accompanying ingredients such as egg, extra spring onions and seaweed.

      Step 2: Queue
      This can take anything from 10 min to half an hour or more (perhaps accompanied by other tourists with armed with guide books.) Come during off peak periods.

      Step 3: Customise ramen
      Circle the order chit on the preference of your ramen, such as flavour strength, richness, garlic, green onion, amount of red sauce and noodles’ texture. For first timers, pick ‘medium’ or ‘regular’ most items, and ‘half’ for red sauce.

      Step 4: Look out for vacant seat panel
      A lighted up panel will show which seats are available. Look out for the kanji character in blue that reflects ‘empty’, but staff should be around to help you.

      Step 5: Proceed to booth
      Booths are all individual seating. There is a retractable window in which all you see are the staff’s hands. They will speak to you in Japanese. Say “Hai, arigatoo!”, pass your order sheet and ramen ticket. Wait 5 minutes, and eat.

      The very first time I had my Ichiran Ramen, it was a really great good bowl. Indeed one of the best. The first sip of the creamy goodness, peppered with a touch of spice, and I told myself “I can have this tomorrow again.”

      Thin and springy home-made fresh noodles slide through the milky rich broth, which remained piping hot almost throughout. The sliced pork was thin, tender and tasty.

      My ‘half-portion’ red sauce was spicy enough, and was indeed the all-important element which differentiated Ichiran from the-other-good-ramen-down-the-street.

      What I did not like was the individual booth seats, which Ichiran claimed that customers would then just focus on slurping on their noodles without distractions. Nothing separates between you and your ramen.

      But it made me feel liked I was part of some factory chain. No interaction. No feel.

      The egg was ordinary in comparison. And I was sure there are many other ramen shops, perhaps off the radar, better than Ichiran. This is Japan after all.

      Overall, a simply delicious bowl of ramen from Ichiran, definitely one of the best tonkotsu I ever had, but perhaps lacking some soul.

      Ichiran Kyoto
      Takoyakushi OKI Building 1F
      598 Uraderacho Higashiiru Takoyakushidori Nakagyo-ku Kyoto-shi Kyoto-fu 604-8041
      (3 minute walk from Hankyu Kyoto Main Line Kawaramachi Station Exit 9)
      Opening Hours: 24 Hours

      106-3 Yawataminamiyama Yawata-shi Kyoto-fu 614-8054
      8 min away from Second Keihan Highway’s Interchance Yawata-higashi Exit
      Opening Hours: 24 Hours

      Ichiran Tokyo 
      Shinjuku: Peace Building B1F 3-34-11 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo-to 160-0022
      (3 min walk from JR Shinjuku Station Higashi Exit)
      Opening Hours: 24 Hours
      Google Maps – Ichiran Shinjuku

      Shibuya: Iwamoto Building B1F 1-22-7 Jinnan Sibuya-ku Tokyo-to 150-0041
      (3 min walk from JR Shibuya Station Hachiko Exit)

      Roppongi: Roppongi GM Building 2F 4-11-11 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo-to 106-0032
      (2 min walk from Oedo Line Roppongi Station, 2 min walk from Hibiya Line Roppongi Station
      Opening Hours: 11am – 6am

      Harajuku: Sanpo Sogo Building 2F 6-5-6 Jingumae Sibuya-ku Tokyo-to 150-0001
      (3 minute walk from JR Harajuku Station Omotesando Exit)
      Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm

      Other locations: Ueno, Shinbuya Spain-zaka, Shinbashi, Ikebukuro, Tachikawa, Machida, Shimokitazawa, Kichijoji


  • Jewels.reach's Avatar
    1 post since Mar '16
  • kinwashi's Avatar
    10,941 posts since Jan '08
    •  OK.


      Finally set foot at Kagoshima.

      Sound and safe.

      Weather 9 degree.


      The weather around 20 yesterday. And today dropped to 9 degree.

      Tomorrow will dip to.lower according to the weather forecast.


      Today whole day raining.

      Ichiran ramen at Fukuoka.


      Now reporting at Kagoshima Chuo station.


    • Good Morning.


      Local time at Kagoshima now 11.30am.

      Weather is about 13 degrees.

      Still on.the cold side.

      Now having breakfast and another one hour we are ready to go to Senagen Garden on our first trip to of the garden just opposite Sakurajima mountain  facing .

      on mainland we will.be on our hired saloon car venturing out..

      And today.literary mainly on the mainland.

      Just like Tenmokan area liked our Orchard road in Singapore.

      Will update the latest.

    • Lunch stop at Shimoarata Kagoshima


      At Shimoarata restaurant Fuku Itazaki


      Ordered two rice sets one ramen and one Soba set.

      Four of us.

      Rice set go for 1400 yen.

      I think still affordable.

      Just simple lunch.


      Edited by kinwashi 10 Mar `16, 2:11PM
    • Originally posted by kinwashi:

      Lunch stop at Shimoarata Kagoshima





      Edited by kinwashi 10 Mar `16, 2:09PM
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